Thursday, August 28, 2014

Embla's New Teak Deck

Donald and Patricia Dorn-Lopez are having new teak decks put on Embla 41LN14 in Vigo, Spain.  The Spanish quote was about 40% less expensive than a comparable quote from a yard in Denmark. The original LN deck was 12mm thick. The new deck will be 15mm thick and is applied in such a way that no mechanical fasteners are used. Donald reports that all the holes in Embla's deck were filled and the deck re-fiberglassed before the new teak was put on. The new deck is only one job being done in Embla's current refit.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Just in from Peter Nordlie, ex Fairwind 41LN10 -- Those Were the Days

Peter Nordlie, 2009
ex Fairwind, 47LN10 &
ex Last Call, 37VT47
[I can't post the following email without properly introducing its author, Peter Nordlie. He is the only Lord Nelson owner (other than the Harts) to have owned both a 41LN and a 37VT. Peter was so impressed with his 41LN that when it came time to make the geriatric jump into a stink pot, Lord Nelson Victory Tugs were the only boats he looked at. Peter's other claim to fame is making it halfway across the Atlantic in his Cheoy Lee Clipper 36 Ketch.  Yea, there's a story there and you can read it here.  All the pictures Peter shared are available on Fair Wind's LNOA album.  Posted by Dave Howell]

The following was excerpted from an email dated 3 August '14 and a subsequent undated snail mail from around 5 August '14.

I bought Fairwind in Feb. 1992 in Marathon Fl. from an owner with a last name of Beck who had a cement business in Baltimore. Unfortunately, after two moves, I've been unable to locate my file and so can't establish exactly when I sold her. I think she was sold to the Dosses in '98 or possibly '99. I would call the yacht brokers that sold her, Wagner and Stevens in Annapolis, but they apparently are no longer in business.

Peter Nordlie in the Middle of the Atlantic
Your request for pictures led to a most interesting afternoon of reviewing hundreds of photos especially of the transatlantic trip which left me overwhelmed with nostalgia. Selecting photos for your purposes left me uncertain so, unless you say, "don't", I'll send you a packet of a couple dozen. These include a set of very good, detailed interior shots that the brokers took that provide extensive detail on the 41's interior. Many of the other pics are of Fairwind on her adventures which will give a pretty good idea of what cruising on a 41 could be. Of all the boats I've ever been on, I always felt she was the most seaworthy and, no matter how raucous and tempestuous ( we went through 7 gales going to Europe) it got, I felt safe, secure, and comfortable.

A gale in the Atlantic
While I had her, in addition to the three year European trip, I sailed her twice to Nova Scotia, once to Florida, and throughout the Chesapeake.  Maybe the pics also show why, after cruising in this boat, when I had to go to power, I only considered Lord Nelson tugs.  The LN 41 s are heavy boats, built extraordinarily sturdy but they carry enough sail to handle the weight. They balance very well under sail; the wind vane steered 95% of the time trans Atlantic and performed flawlessly.  The boat is set up thoughtfully for easy sail handling. My 95 pound female crew could reef down in 35 knots of wind by herself - slowly, to be sure, but unaided. ( We did try to discourage her from doing it on her 3:00 am watch when everyone else was asleep).

Aurora 41LN17 on Generating Electricity

Aurora 41LN17  in Prickly Bay, Grenada (June '14)
Electric generation is an ongoing learning process. When we left Texas, we had the 4Winds II and a 120 amp alternator, driven off the propulsion engine. This charged a single bank of 660AH, made up of Trojan T105's in series-parallel. The 4Winds generally kept up with the fridge, in a steady 10 kt of breeze, but we still had to run the engine regularly. At sea, coming from Bermuda to St. Thomas the 4Winds kept up, generally, with the fridge and the autopilot. When we got into the Lesser Antilles, we were running the engine more and more, around 4 hours/day strictly for charging. We bought a Honda EU2000 "suitcase" generator in Antigua and started using it, instead of the propulsion engine. It is quieter and puts much less heat into the living area. Maintenance is also lower. It still takes about 4 hours/day, but that is a function of 110V charger capacity. We should have purchased a bigger charger. We didn't mind so much leaving the boat with the Honda running. The constant need to be tied to the boat for a number of hours each day can be a pain. The 4Winds helped but we never thought it would do the job alone, day in and day out. Other owners of wind generators seem to get better results, but so often you turn out to be comparing apples and oranges.

The solar panels are 2 – 245watt Kyoceras. They were the largest capacity/physical size that would fit the space available. As I recall the calcs, they should be more than enough to run the fridge, autopilot and everything else, with no additional help. Right now, the fridge is kaput and I've been using ice for the past 18 months. I am beginning to get back into tuning the panel charging, etc. and getting Aurora back into cruising trim. The whole scheme of things went sideways February a year ago, when my wife, Marita, passed away. Settling up the estate and all the hassles with the event have played havoc with boat projects. Inertia has me firmly in its grip and it is hard to get motivated when every day is partly cloudy, temp 83, wind from the east at 15, 20% chance of rain.

I have struck the 4Winds down onto the deck. I had some deferred maintenance issues and may have something out of balance. There may also be some issue with the rigidity of my arch. In any case, there is an unacceptable vibration when the 4Winds gets up to speed and it needs to be resolved. When I get the fridge back on line, I will get a better feel for the PV array output and know if I also need the wind machine.

Over the years that we have owned Aurora, there are few areas I have not had apart. I have learned a few things about how the boats were built. I also have questions about some of the things I haven't gotten into, yet. I am sure this group has a lot of knowledge.

Lying Prickly Bay, Grenada, West Indies
(473) 456-7418 (Grenada)
(512) 970-5884 (USA)

[The above was from an email dated 2 August 2014 - ed.]

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Origins of the Lord Nelson 41 Sailboat Design

XSA004041081 the first 41' Lord Nelson?
What would become the 41' Lord Nelson (41LN) started out life as Tommy Chen's dream sailboat.  Ever since he was a teenager Tommy wanted to sail around the world.   He can't remember the exact date but it was in 1977 or 1978 that he began in earnest to put his ideas on paper.  He completed the 41 design one year later.  

Among the many factors that Tommy credits for the success of the 41LN are, the two years he spent in Los Angles, CA (1975 and 1976) as Hans Christian's (HC) trouble shooter and, a book he read about Jiro Horikoshi's Zero fighter plane.  In LA he got to see the problems on lots and lots of sailboats.  From this he learned first hand what worked and what didn't.  From Horikoshi he learned the importance of aerodynamics, specifically how surfaces can be designed to minimize drag. 

After returning from LA, Tommy opened the Hai-O Yacht Building Corporation in January 1977.  Hai-O is Chinese for seagull; a bird revered for its intelligence and aerial maneuverability.  His primary customer was HC and he built the HC 38Mk II.  Two other yards in Taiwan were under contract to build the HC43 and the HC38T.  HC wanted their hull numbers to all have the prefix XSA.  The specific yard was identified by the next three numbers, Hai-O's was XSA004.

Back in the US Loren Hart was moving up the ranks in HC.  From 1977 through 1980 he ran Seattle's HC dealership.  Then, around September of 1980 he received an equity position in HC and he and Lani moved to Long Beach, CA.  According to Lani Hart's December 2010 Victory Tug History:
After the move to Long Beach, Loren found the partnership constricting to his newly developed opinions on market trends, and boat design. This caused the relationship in the partnership to become very contentious. Through his elevated position as national distributor, Loren had established a close working relationship with the yard owners in Taiwan. One particular yard owner, Fu Yi (Tommie [sic]) Chen mirrored Lorenʼs newly formed opinions with regard to the boating market and was independently developing a new hull design. 
Tommy's dissatisfaction with HC was concurrent with Loren's.  After long talks Tommy and Loren realized that their's was an ideal match,  Loren wanted to run his own company building something he believed in and Tommy had a yard plus a good 41 design.  Again from Lani's Victory Tug History:
For this new design, Tommie [sic] needed a sales representative in order to create capital for actually building the design. While Loren liked Tommie [sic] and respected his building expertise, Loren knew the design would not sell as is. Together they formed an alliance and fine tuned the design into the 41ʼ sailboat, that launched Lord Nelson Yachts in 1981.
Loren's knowledge of the market and what buyers demanded had a large impact on the 41's interior design. In 1981 Hai-O built the first 41LN.  Its hull number is uncertain as the first 41 listed in the Admiralty Corporate Ledger is "41-07", molded in November 1981, however, as evidenced by the picture below, there's a hull #4 that was molded in October of 1981.  The first known 41LN  with a Hai-O yard prefix is HAO410120482, hull #12 molded in April of 1982.

The above was written after a telephone conversation with Tommy Chen, 1 August 2014 -- Dave Howell, Nellie D. 37VT63